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Cross-dressing Trocks do the ballet classics with heavy makeup, wigs, and extra-large pointe shoes

Ellen Dunkel, The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, an all-male company that dances spoofy versions of serious ballets, is always good for laughs. But the company’s visit this week to the Prince Theater’s NextMove Dance series also offers an interesting tasting menu of classical masterpieces.

The Trocks, as they’re known, opened Wednesday night with five pieces, many of which — by coincidence — are being danced  this weekend on other stages around Philadelphia. Most notably, the Trocks danced the pas de deux from Le Corsaire. The Pennsylvania Ballet is premiering Angel Corella’s version this weekend at the Academy of Music.

The Prince program also includes Swan Lake, Act II; the pas de six from La Esmeralda; The Dying Swan; and sections of Don Quixote.

Of this selection, La Esmeralda, set to music by Cesare Pugni and based on Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, is the least known in the United States. While the full ballet is rarely performed here, the female variation is a popular competition solo and will likely be danced many times this weekend at the Youth America Grand Prix Philadelphia semifinal at Swarthmore College, as will solos from Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, and Swan Lake.

La Esmeralda is a tragic love story, and the Trocks played it to the hilt, with great amounts of swooning. But it was also an uncommon chance to see the pas de six, which they danced with great skill, as well as with many jokes, heavy makeup, wigs, and extra-large pointe shoes.

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